Akhteruzzaman Elias is an influential Bangladeshi novelist and short story writer. After Syed Waliullah, he is the most acclaimed Bangladeshi author in Bengali literature. Despite writing only two novels, critics place Elias in the pantheon of great Bengali novelists. Mahasweta Devi, a prominent Bengali writer of West Bengal, said once, "He is the best in both West Bengal and Bangladesh." Born during Great Bengal famine of 1943, it was quite normal that this writer would present hunger, poverty and struggle in his writings. His writing contains deep sense of life, sharp observation power, and a razor-sharped humor.
This powerful writer has his 76th birth anniversary today. He was born on February 12, 1943 at his maternal uncle`s home in Gotia village in Gaibandha District. Akhteruzzaman`s paternal house is in Bogra. He passed Matriculation examination from Bogra Zila School in 1958 and Intermediate from Dhaka College in 1960. Later he completed his BA (Hons) and MA from the University of Dhaka.
Elias started his career as a lecturer at Jagannath College. Letar he served as the Vice-Principal of Music College, Deputy Director of Primary Education Board, and Professor and head of the Bangla Department of Dhaka College.
Akhteruzzaman`s Onno Ghore Onno Shor (Another Tune in Another Room), Khoari (Hangover), Jal Shopno, Shopner Jal (Fake Dream, Dream of Fantasy), Milir Hate Steingun demonstrated our Great Liberation War and postwar political and social reality of the country.
Writer and dramatists Emdadul Haque Milon said that Chile Kotar Sepai and Khowabnama of Akhteruzzaman Elias are the best novels of Bangladesh in the last 15-20 years.
Elias got Bangla Academy Literary Award in Literature on 1983 and Ananda Puraskar for Khwabnama in 1996. Besides, he also got several awards including Ekushey Padak (posthumous) for his outstanding contribution in Bengali literature.
This influential writer died on January 4, 1997 after suffering from cancer. On his birth anniversary we remember him with great reverence.